North Korea has long been recognized as one of the world's worst abusers of religious freedom.
As many as a million North Koreans may have died in that nation's concentration camps.
In Washington D.C. this week, the largest-ever U.S. gathering of North Korean defectors, activists and politicians called for greater effort to protect North Koreans, and North Korean Christians, from their own government.
"It is one of the worst human rights situations in the world, what exists in North Korea today. There is extensive human trafficking taking place, the people coming out of North Korea," Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback said. "There are no rights for individuals there. There's persecution of people of faith, and the regime is tumbling."
There are estimated to be almost 500,000 Christians in North Korea, and over 10,000 Christian martyrs each year. North Korea is considered the world's worst religious persecutor. Kim Tae Jin escaped from North Korea in 1985
"People who are Christians, if they show their face, if they claim their faith in the Gulag they will be taken to somewhere no one knows about," Kim Tae Jin said.
Jung Eun Hye was raised by Christian parents and grandparents in North Korea before escaping to the South. She says persecution is only making the North Korean church stronger.
"So there is great hope, that the North Korean church is strengthening, the government of Kim Jong Il is weakening," she said.
"The regime itself is crumbling. It is not fully functioning," Brownback said. "Pray for the North Korean people. Pray for them."